Whenever I hear the term “Slow Living”, I think of my favorite TV show “As Time Goes By”, where Jean (portrayed by Dame Judi Dench) and Lionel (the recently late Sir Geoffrey Palmer) argue about her retiring from work. Lionel’s publisher Alistair speaks about her upcoming retirement and going on with Lionel in the “Slow Lane of Life”, to which Jean becomes incredibly irritated over the fact that everyone wants her to slow down.
I always found this funny, because when one thinks about slowing down, you picture an older couple, retired and walking the malls or boardwalks at the beach, possibly taking a stroll through the park hand in hand, or even thinking of an older woman sitting by the fireplace kitting a blanket. Wait….
None of this strikes me as “old”. Maybe it’s just that I AM getting older, and moving onward to the slow lane in life seems really, really appealing. I have a few friends who live by this rule of simple and slow living, and watching their videos on YouTube really captures the spirit I am willing to take part of.
What is Slow Living, exactly?
It’s actually quite simpler than one would think. The problem is, getting there. We, as a society, and especially in the United States, have this ideology of “bigger, better, stronger, faster”. And yes, I believe at one point in my life I not only lived this way, but encouraged others to do so. My Mom always says to me, “If its meant to be, it’s up to me…”, which is really an amazing philosophy to live by when holding oneself responsible and accountable for the life led. However, for years I always looked upon this philosophy as living in a fast paced world. To me, it always meant, don’t expect someone to do it for you, you’ve got to get it done yourself. And for some reason, my brain interpreted that as “get it done fast”. No wonder I still have problems following directions at 46 years old. I remember being in first grade, and Sister Joseph Timothy telling me I REALLY need to learn to follow directions. I would become so exciteable about doing something, I tended to look over the what I was SUPPOSED to do, because I was SO busy trying to get to the end result. And at the end of the day, it was never done right, because I was always skipping important steps. Life is the exact same way. Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look every once in a while, you could miss it…”
So, how do I live in this society and live a slower way of life? Well, it can’t happen overnight, that’s for sure. But people like my friend Lea and other Youtubers like Katelyne from Girl in Calico, and Jonna Jinton, I have some ideas on how to start. For one, make time for the Creator who gave us all of this. I have found when I am living in a faster pace, I tend to never have time for prayer and meditation. And that HAS to change. How can I be happy living this way if I cannot even take some moments during the day to thank the One who gave me this life?
One of the things I need to make sure is that I keep to a schedule. I have a type of personality that I cannot just go on a whim; I NEED a schedule. Thankfully, I am embarking on a new journey that will FINALLY give me a set schedule. So, once that gets going, my next step is minimalization and organization.
The thought of that next step just gives me anxiety, even as I type the words out. As much as I love to organize, I will admit I absolutely suck at it. I know I will need help in this area, and I’m grateful for my best friends who have offered to come to me and help me out in this time of need. I know I’m going to need it.
I truly believe that once these three factors kick in, I will be running like a fine oiled machine, or more or less, a content middle aged woman longing for the slow lane in life.
What does slow living look like for me?
Waking up and being able to be in prayer without interruption. Making wholesome, good food that makes me feel good. Taking time to keep up my home, inside and out, with an absolute peace of mind. Being able to take a walk and listen to the trees and birds and hear God’s gentle whispers in the wind. Reading a book in front of a cozy fire with a large cup of tea, writing in my journal, and feel my mind, body and soul slow down to a peaceful rhythm. I want more than anything, to enjoy and live in each of the seasons, without feeling depression. This will be another big challenge. Embracing the deep, dark of winter where my brain puts me in a state of sadness and despair. I actually told my husband recently of my need to move to the Pocono Mountains (the mountain range a couple hours from my home). He of course became very confused, because why would I want to live in a place where the winters can be downright brutal? Who knows? All I know is that I feel I’m being called there. So, no better time to learn about slow living than right now.
I feel the muse within me beckon whenever I talk about the mountains. As if that’s where her soulmate lives, and I hope my husband and I follow her one day, to be reunited with her long lost love, and I can begin to create the art that I know is still deep inside of me.
I would love to know YOUR ideas of what Slow Living means to you. Please feel free to comment below, as I am always looking for new ideas!
Peaceful Blessings to you all,
The Homesteading Hobbit